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Move over Barry, Tobey's coming to the WSOP
Barry Greenstein and John Juanda might have celebrity status in the poker community, but to the average Joe the pros are, well, average Joes. For the poker neophyte, it's the presence of people such Tobey Maguire at the World Series of Poker that really impress.
But it's anyone's guess which Hollywood celebrities will make an appearance at the Main Event this year.
Safe bets are actor James Woods, who has a piece of the site Hollywood Poker and is a tournament regular. Jennifer Tilly - now more of a poker star than an actress - has already competed in WSOP events, as has Shannon Elizabeth.
Possible cameos include That 70s Show actress Laura Prepon (Donna), who made an appearance at the 2006 WSOP along with her co-star, Danny Masterson (Hyde). Spider-Man himself, actor Tobey Maguire, also competed, but failed to cash, in the Main Event.
Though it's doubtful they'll turn up at the Championship, some serious A-listers are to darken the door of the Rio for Don Cheadle's Ante Up for Africa charity tournament to raise money for Darfur.
On the tentative guest list are Cheadle's fellow Ocean's 13 alum George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon. Winning - but seemingly retired - recreational player Ben Affleck is may make an appearance, along with Jason Alexander, Hank Azaria, George Lopez, Ray Romano and Adam Sandler, among others.
Celebrity poker fans and wild card picks to show include Friends star Matthew Perry, Cheryl Hines of Curb Your Enthusiasm fame, ex-Mr. Jennifer Aniston, Vince Vaughn and his friend Jon Favreau, Office Space favorite Ron Livingston, and Everyone Loves Raymond's Brad Garrett, who gave an impromptu comedy performance prior to his exit from last year's WSOP.
Though he told a London newspaper he had quit the game, perhaps House actor Hugh Laurie will show up, provided it doesn't cut into his filming schedule.
Laurie gave up the game recently after a prolonged bad run on the felt do to his late hours.
"I make mistakes playing when I'm tired and then go to bed cursing myself," said Laurie of his game to the Daily Express. "The good poker players are the ones that outlast everyone but I've had to give up because I wilt at the end of the day."
Even if the Main Event isn't the right place for Laurie, even those with no gamble in them could safely wager that some familiar faces will stand out in the crowd at the Rio this July. Because one thing is for certain: celebrities are just as susceptible to dreams of poker grandeur as the average Joe.